So, I got stuck in Irene. The devastation and long-term effects of Hurricane Irene on various parts of New England are truly heartbreaking. People lost their homes, roads are completely out, historical buildings have been washed away, and entire farms are under water. It's terrible, and I hope the recovery initiative moves quickly and gets my fellow hearty New Englanders back on their feet soon.
I was lucky. The hurricane totally messed up all my New York plans, but we didn't see any damage thankfully. So instead of teaching my "Instant Dog Portrait Class" with The Impossible Project over the weekend (the entire city shut down for two whole days), I made a rain-date for free Polaroid dog portraits at a fun NY park after the storm. It was an incredibly perfect day, and we were swamped with people for about 6hrs straight. I was juggling 2 cameras, running with the good spots of gorgeous open shade, making use of a quick 30 second window to bond with each dog and dog owner, and blowing through film (both medium format b/w and some incredibly rare Polaroid instant film). Every single person that stopped by walked away with a signed original Polaroid portrait of their dog. It's hard to impress a New Yorker, but we had no problem making people smile and feel special when we handed over a warm-toned Polaroid of their beloved beasts. It was such a fun, long shoot.
My good friends Anne and Dave (the head honchos of The Impossible Project in New York) travelled all the way down from SOHO, showed up like little photo genies, and handed me 3 packs of my favorite Polaroid film. Then they both stuck around, helped load film, peel polaroids, talk to dog owners, make sure I was developing correctly, and nerd out with me about my process. Oh, and take some awesome photos of the original Polaroids I was pulling, as well as some behind-the-scenes stuff.
What an incredible day! My week in New York was a pleasant reminder that I can work hard, push through any challenge, and still remain inspired and excited to do my photographic work. Getting to work side-by-side with my favorite studio partner (The Impossible Project), while doing what I do best (feeling cretively inspired by animal companions) was the perfect way to end a productive and fun month on the East Coast. I'll be back again in the Fall for more clients, events, and Polaroid shoots.
All photos by: Anne Bowerman/Dave Bias
Polaroid film provided by: The Impossible Project